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tv   Hardball With Chris Matthews  MSNBC  July 12, 2011 7:00pm-8:00pm EDT

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don't go anyway. "hardball" starts right now. betting on disaster. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. leading off tonight, associate social security checks may not go out. yesterday president obama said it was was time for both parties to eat our peas, make tough choices for a big budget deal. today he said without a deal there may not be enough money to send out social security checks. for many republicans in congress, opposing tax has become more than ideology. it's become religion. they're abdicating now their responsibility to co-govern. how are we ever going to get a deal if republican leaders more afraid of the tea party than they are of the
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economic collapse to come? also, pray away the gay. michele bachmann's husband says the christian counseling practice he runs does not try to pray gay straight, but the video tells a different story. this may make michele bachmann more popular with her base, but what after everyone else? plus, the murdoch scandal keeps getting bigger and bigger. gordon brown told the bbc that murdoch people used known criminals to get access to his personal information and try to bring down his government. the story has now hit the "sunday times" of london and his company stock is sinking. how bad will this get? jon stewart and british ex-pass had fun, a lot of fun, actually, with the murdoch story. that's on the "sideshow" tonight. and driving right off the cliff.
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eugene robin sons, of course he won the pulitzer prizewinning there and ron reagan. and a political fight was quite relatable to real people in the country who don't normally watch political programs like this, but will be very much affected by what we talk about in the next couple of minutes. let's listen to the president. >> can you tell the folks at home that no matter what happens, the social security checks are going to go out on august the 3rd? about $20 billion of social security checks that have to go out the day after the government is supposedly going to go into default. >> this is not just a matter of social security checks. these are veterans checks, these are folks on disability and their checks. they're about 70 million checks that go out. each month. >> can you guarantee as
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president those checks will go out on august 3rd? >> i cannot guarantee those checks go out on august 3rd if we haven't resolved this issue, because there may simply not be the money in the coffers to do it. >> we passed our budget back in the spring, outlined our priorities. where's the budget -- where's the president's plan? when's he going to lay his cards on the table? this -- this debt limit increase is his problem and it's time for him to lead by putting his plan on the table. something that the congress can pass. >> well, that question, of course, is, i want to go to the first point with eugene robinson and then get to ron reagan. stick to the key points of reality. before we get into the blame game, which side is dropping the ball, which is going to take the shot here, the president's made it real today. it's no longer geithner, that quiet talking fella that comes on once in a while and speaks to us. the president of the united states is telling people
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tonight, people -- some people rely for 90% of their income on social security. >> and people will hear this. i think this is an important step, because it does make it real. when you listen to tim geithner explain what happens on august 2nd or august 3rd, if no resolution is found, it's scary, but it's implied. the t-bills mature, $87 billion, $90 billion next week. but when you say the social security checks may not go out, i can't guarantee that you'll get your check, that you depend on, i think that focuses people on the importance of what's going on now, and one hopes that will focus politicians here on, you know, the ramifications of the game they're playing. >> ron, i was thinking visually. we think visually more than line linearly. i was thinking with my old paper route in bucks county in pennsylvania. i was thinking the older people come out to the mailbox, i guess they still to do get their checks in the afternoon.
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maybe 1:00 or 2:00 when the postman comes by, and the idea it won't be there. they have to go back to whatever they might have in the bank, if they've got anything, it's real? >> indeed. another thing this whole discussion does, and president obama's remarks about social security is it really shines a bright light on the participants in this negotiation, and i think the american public can see clearly who are the adults in the room here. i mean, we all know that the debt ceiling is raised almost automatically. it happened seven times during the bush administration. this is usually -- politics gets played a little bit. but nobody has ever held like a gun to somebody's head and really threatened to destroy the credit of the united states. but now it is happening. and they see president obama as he said bending over backwards, doubling down on john boehner's $2 trillion. i'll see that and raise you another $2 trillion john, if that's what you want.
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but, of course, nothing is ever good enough for the republicans. whatever obama does, it's going to be wrong and they're going to say no. >> as you point out, there's an escalation here. when we heard boehner, a responsible man when he's doing what he believes is right, not what the tea party what's as right, he accepts his co-governance -- watch him here and mike pence who running for governor, joining the tea party and left the regular republican's party. talking about it's the president's problem we have this debt ceiling coming. let's listen. >> we passed our budget back in the spring, outlined our priorities. where's the budgets, where's the president's plan? when's he going to lay his cards on table? this -- this debt limit increase is his problem, and i think it's time for him to lead by putting his plan on the table. something that the congress can pass. >> when the u.s. government can't pay its bills, it's not only a debt problem but it is a failure of leadership at the presidential level, just as you said. the truth is, it's the
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president's problem. if president obama wants to raise the debt ceiling, he should recognize that -- >> the gentleman's time has expired. >> come to the congress and ask us to step forward and help him solve that problem. >> the gentleman's time has expired. >> capping spending and sending a balanced budget amendment to the states. >> this reminds me, gene, probably reminds you, ron, as well, of 13 days when curtis le may looked at president john kennedy and said you got a big problem here. for the speaker of the house to be so consumed by the mentality, the choreography now of the tea party is scary. these guys are almost wearing uniforms out there on the floor. they come out on the floor. there's, what, 87 republican freshmen. 60 tea party members all loyal to the tea party factions, to to bachmann who bachmann's said i won't vote for anything in terms of a debt ceiling. >> yeah. so you've got that bloc. you've got john boehner, whose idea of this grand bargain was in the first place, he went to the president and they cooked up
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this $4 trillion savings plan that would raise the debt ceiling and so forth, but now boehner is having to cover his flank, and try to regain control of his caucus. it's very clear. >> you covered this. who's calling the shots? who is meeting behind the doors telling boehner, no, no, you can't have a grand deal. no, no. you can't talk revenues. no, no, come back and rewrite, rewrite, rewrite and keep coming back? >> my opinion, eric cantor, i think is working in the interests of -- >> who is he bowing to? >> well, he's in touch with the tea party factions. he's in touch with the members on the floor -- >> kevin mccarthy and a whole bunch of them 1234 >> kevin mccarthy is somebody boehner goes to and i think boehner and kevin mccarthy is one of the ones who told boehner, look, i don't have the books. you don't have the votes, and you're about to lose your caucus. >> so this is a strange situation. i want to look now, and, ron, right into this right now.
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let's talk -- the latest here. it seems to me there's a pattern here of choreography. you once danced for a living. let's talk about choreography. you're a proud dancer. seems the person directing this theater here is not john boehner. certainly it isn't the president. it may be somebody off-stage, but somebody is saying, first of all, pull out of meetings. there's become this new kind of walk-out strategy. i'm trying to think of all the people that walked out. >> take their ball and go home. >> yeah. >> eric cantor. >> go ahead. >> eric -- listen, isn't the subtext underneath this stuff, cantor versus boehner. isn't cantor trying to do to boehner what republicans are trying to do to the democrats? box him into a corner with a no-win? >> why? >> he wants boehner's job. >> is that all? >> well, he might want something more, maybe an ideological component, too, but he wants boehner's job.
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>> take a look at this in a closed door meeting with house republican caucus today, speaker boehner tried to walk himself back off the reports he'd agreed to cutting a big deal with obama. he said in part, let me be crystal clear on this, at no time ever during this discussion did i agree to let taxes go up. i haven't spent 20 years here fighting tax increase to throw it all away in one moment. it became clear their -- the democrats' vision -- was to maintain many of the current code's flawed features. that's when i walked away. it's like a reincantation in a medieval church, isn't it? >> it's damage control. >> yes. >> i have sinned, but i shall sin no more. but -- >> who's he confessing to? >> he's the speaker of the house losing the republican caucus. it's that simple. >> okay. >> and he may think he has lost the republican caucus. and has to perform these -- >> i think i know i can go back to who is the high priestess or high priest of this tea party caucus. michele bachmann.
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i think she's a true believer. whatever you think she believe, i think it's her belief. i don't think she's faking it. i think she's for real. i want to show you something on o'reilly, where you go when you want to speak your religion, when you want to do the whole thing, with the vestments and everything. when you want to go far right you go over to bill and check out -- here's michele bachmann. >> i can almost smell the incense. >> smells and bells, your dad used to say. here we go. out to a new, this is from the irs. she worked for the irs from '86 to '96, going through a conversion, used to work for the devil, now against him. here she was last night on fox home base for this kind of thinking. >> what i can tell you is what i'm hearing all over iowa, new hampshire, south carolina, florida, texas, wherever i go across the country, people are saying to me, these
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politicians don't get it. we can't keep raising the debt ceiling, and that's why i'm adamant about it, because that's what reasonable, fair-minded americans saying, bill. they're saying the politicians have to stop this spending and they don't for a minute appreciate it when president obama is talking about the nfl lockout and telling small businesses to eat their peas and suck it in and have more tax increases. >> i love that. bill o'reilly, who has heard it all, heard it all. a little cynical occasionally and absolute true believer? >> she is a true believer. i've always said she's a true believer. she is a party, yes, who's running the show, she is a part of it. not just her. it's the others like her. >> and what's her philosophy? >> and their constituents out there telling them, don't raise the debt ceiling. just default. >> just let the government go down? >> they have it fantasy where you can just pay the interest or it's okay -- if the federal government -- if the u.s. government cuts 44% of its spending in a day. they think that's okay. that's not okay for the world.
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that throws the world into a dizzy pression. >> let me be bill o'reilly. my hand, a bill o'reilly moment. it seems to me they don't mind catastrophe. to put it bluntly, if they bet wrong on this, we go into default and the checks don't go out, they hold a big cotill onmeeting and said, see? we told you the government is irresponsible. this president's incompetent. we've made our point. it's a win-win. if they win the argument, bring down the government, they have won big casino here. >> i don't know about that. i don't know that they win. i think the american public sees through this and, again, see who the adults are here. let me throw this out to you, too. you guys are smarter than i am about this kind of stuff. there e three main elements here. >> did you hear my voice? >> oh -- i did. but spending cuts, tax increases and the debt ceiling being raised. they don't agree on spending cuts. they don't agree on tax increases, but at least boehner pays lip service to the debt
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ceiling, having to be raised. that's the only thing they both agree on. at the end of the day, do we get to a point where they just have to raise the debt ceiling and nothing else? wasn't that president obama's original decision? >> a clean bill? a pure bill. >> a pure bill, clean bill, absolutely. there's nothing else they can do. there's nothing to negotiate. >> and i don't know about that. as they said in "a man for all seasons," let me put it to you a middle case. suppose they come back with a real light thing. some spending cuts that really don't mean anything. no real revenue increases but it looks like something like a little lip service to it and they put that on the president's desk. are they -- what happens then? >> well, if you're not raising the debt ceiling enough to carry it through 2013, i think he vetoes it. however, if they do a three-month extension that's clean, he has to sign it then. >> yeah. gene? is that sticking it to him? >> i think -- i think he has to sign a clean extension. i think if it's an extension with deep budget cuts, i think he vetoes it. he has said there's no way forward unless they move.
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off the no new taxes. >> thank you. when those checks stop going out august 3rd, august 2nd. i'm telling you, watch out. the public will be watching then. every single american will be watching programs like this. thank you, eugene robinson and ron reagan. coming up, michele bachmann is facing heat over the clinic run by her husband. this is very controversial, and we're going to handle it that way. marcus bachmann one runs a clinic that promises to cure gays, the word they use, of homosexuality through prayer. let's see. that's coming up next. and in california today, first lady michelle obama is with rosalynn carter, hillary clinton, george w. bush and nancy reagan at the funeral for former first lady betty ford. much more on betty ford later in the hour. of course, i'll have a final thought on that great woman later on myself. you're watching "hardball." only on msnbc. rk devices will roam the earth. that's seven devices per person. this will change how we work
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alan grayson, the former congressman who famously said to republicans health care plan was to die quickly. says he's running for congress again. grayson served one term in the house, and was defeated last year. he says he's waiting to see how florida redraws its congressional districts before deciding where he'll run. we'll be right back. ♪ she's polishing coal. ♪ new temptations, it's the first jell-o that's just for adults. on a track that simulates the world's toughest roads. ♪ [ tires screeching ] ♪ if it can survive this drive... ♪ it can survive yours. the nissan altima. innovation that lasts. innovation for all. ♪
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welcome back to "hardball." new questions out tonight about michele bachmann's husband. and tactics allegedly used to cure gays at the clinic. an undercover investigation to bachmann and associates use of the controversial treatment. it broke last night. will this revelation ultimately hurt michele bachmann's presidential campaign? we'll see. joining us is evan hurst, and michelle goldberg, who's cover the story for "the daily beast" and "newsweek." give us a wrap-up.
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what this does with people who are gay who come in for what they call treatment. >> there's long been reports that bachmann and associates practices escape therapy are sometimes called reparative therapy, which is a very dangerous and discredited technique designed to basically turn gay people straight through prayer and through techniques like practicing their masculinity and trying to develop sexual attractions to opposite sex in various ways. there's been these rumors around for a while. marcus bachmann explicitly denied them. now there's proof this is what he was doing. which was always pretty clear. you know, both bachmanns have been clear they believe homosexuality is a disorder that can be cured. now there's undercover video showing a therapist in this clinic doing exactly just that. >> let's take a look at marcus bachmann, husband to michele bachmann, u.s. congresswoman, last year talking about homosexuality and his
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views thereon. let's listen. >> what do you say when your teenager says she's gay? >> there's that curiosity. it is as if we have to understand barbarians need to be educated. they need to be disciplined, and just because someone feels it or thinks it doesn't mean that we're supposed to go down that road. we have a responsibility as parents and as authority figures not to encourage such thoughts and feelings. >> let me go to evan. that was kind of a -- a lot of people hear that as a strange way of saying anything, but in this case saying if you feel your gay, you think you're gay, you may not be, because of what? take us from there, evan hearst? >> well, basically what they say is, what you feel about yourself isn't necessarily true. the thing about people like the bachmanns and all the ex-gay people around the country is
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that, all of these ministries say, well, our religious beliefs are absolute truth. so instead of trying to align those with science or make them co-exist or anything like that, they're going to tell you that their religious beliefs are absolute truth and that you have to conform yourself to that. so, yeah, you may feel your gay. you may have known you were gay ever since you were 12 years old, but, no, you're not really gay, according to these people and apparently you're a barbarian and have to be re-educated. so-doctor. so -- >> look at the undercover video from reparative counsel session at bachmann & associates. >> the truth is god, god is designed our eyes to be attracted to the woman. >> sure. >> to the woman's body, you know, to be attracted to everything, you know, to be attracted to her. >> what do you make of that session? we could show a longer tape, but what would we see if we saw more of that, evan? >> you would see him go more and more into the idea of, you know, men being made to be
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attracted to women's bodies and all of that stuff. it's basically a slow kind of process where they just convince you more and more that what you really are and who you really are is evil. and it's really sick, because a lot of people who come into those kinds of programs, they come in from a perspective of already being told in some way, by their family or church or society, that they are sick, and this just reinforces that even more. >> let's go back to michelle, who's reporting on this. michelle, objective speaking, i guess most people would say and i've talked to a number of people who are gay, and they would tell you that they knew it fairly early on. we can argue about nurture and nature for the rest of our hour, but i don't think that's a fruitful discussion, perhaps. here's a statement from the authority. the american psychological association. our concern with reparative
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therapy is that a person, especially a young person who enters into therapy to deal with issues of sexual orientation, should be able to have the expectation that such therapy would take place in a professionally neutral environment, absent of any societal bias." that's not the case here, is it? >> you can find a stronger statement from the american psychiatric association, which oy says that this kind of therapy leads to increased self-hatred and even self-harm. a lot of evidence that it can lead to increased suicidal ideations and a lot of evidence that it doesn't work. there's a lot of ex, ex gays out there. people who claim to be ex-gay and later disavow the whole thing and said that, they had never been free of their attractions. think about how hard it would be for you, for a straight person to turn themselves gay? to get an idea of how, know, immutable this stiff is. immutable this stuff is. >> and talk to michelle here before i go back to evan to talk about the politics of this
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thing. is your sense that this is a commonly held view among fundamentalist christians? is this a broadly held view that being gay is something that it sort of comes from something that went wrong in your life or something and you can fix it because it's something you picked up along the way you shouldn't have picked up? not something you had an orientation to? >> it's integral to their whole world view. in the same way they're in denial about things like evolution. in the same way there's a lot of climate science denial, they have to believe that this is an illness or a disorder or a choice, because otherwise, their position on gay rights and on gay marriage would just be sheer bigotry, and nobody wants to see themselves as bigots. they see themselves as wanting to help people that are broken. tim pawlenty himself refused to say that homosexuality is natural or that it's inborn. >> yeah, because i guess he's probably thinking he's taken a moderate position because he hasn't said
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directly that somehow you picked it up because you chose it. that's a relatively moderate view these day, by the way, on right. here's michele bachmann responding, the congresswoman, responding to questions about her husband's clinic just yesterday. >> what is your opinion on reparative therapy and is it something that is conducted at that center? >> well, i'm running for the presidency of the united states, and i'm here today to talk about job creation and also the fact that we do have a business that deals with job creation. we're very proud of the business that we've created. >> but, of course, the issue today is about the reparative therapy, and what this hidden camera video caught, and their opinions will be aired on tonight's news, and you have -- you don't want to comment it and give your side? >> i'm here to talk about my run for the presidency of the united states. as i said again, we're very proud of our business and proud of all job creators in the united states. that's what people really care about. >> well, let me get back to evan. i've had experience trying to
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interview the congresswoman. i know what happens. i've kidded her rather forcefully she's under hypnosis. only this time she's under the guidance of ed rollins or someone and clearly disciplined herself to the point where she's not going to talk about this stuff. >> she doesn't want to talk about it. >> why is it relevant? make the case. why is it relevant? her family's involved in this business, if you will, of trying to make not just, about creating jobs but creating straights, if you will. >> yeah. it is a business, first of all. it's not only a business, chris, but consumer fraud. and the truth of the matter is, you know, what's important about this story is that people like michele bachmann and she's obviously not the only one, but they're going to say certain things to their base, because this kind of thing actually you know, you asked before. do her true believers really believe this? of course they do. they actually -- they don't think they're bigots and actually think they're helping, but, you know, that's just not
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the case, and science says that's not the case. but what's important about this, chris, is she's going to try to say one thing to the base and then when she gets confronted in and interview like that, she's going try to get rid of it and make it go away because she's trying to play all different sides of this right now and people need to know that, you know we have over 50% support for marriage equality now in this country, chris. >> okay. i know that. it's changing. the country is changing its mind. i talk about it all the time, the country is changing rapidly. seems to be the danger, looking at it critically. there's a pattern here on the right trying to defend an ideology or religious point of view against evidence that's common sense in nature. the idea of this planet, or people living on this planet, only 5,000, 6,000 years old. against millions of year of evidence about life on this planet. all kinds of evidence of dinosaurs erased, all kinds of evolution. >> why do we do tests on
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animals, medical tests if they're not related to us somehow physiologically? why would we do these tests? there's so much evidence and common sense about gay people who believe in their hearts that's who they are and how god made them, to be blunt. so i do see a dangerous pattern here of fighting reality, and i don't know anybody who would want somebody who's president of the united states who doesn't live in the real world. your thoughts on this? i'll talk to you, michelle. >> that's the most important story about the right. and increasingly about the republican party of the last decade or so, the construction of an entire paralleled reality and the attempt to force the real world to conform to it ands for the rest of us to live in it. you see that with their own kind of economic theories about the debt limit. it's no longer a discussion about opinions and policies. it's about two sets of facts. one of which has been kind of entirely constructed to support an ideology. >> and what we're fighting in the world. this fundamentalism, talibanism, jihadism. this purity of thought that
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requires the universe to adapt to what you believe it should be and it can get dangerous. a lot of suicides come out of this stuff. we don't need to make people feel worse. we should make them feel better. >> and we already have a problem with that. >> thanks so much. michelle goldberg and for reporting this story to us. up next, arnold schwarzenegger is back making cowboy movies. you know, the new kind. the sci-fi kind. up in "the sideshow." watching "hardball," that's what you're doing, only on msnbc.
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back to "hardball" now. the "sideshow." first up, it could be worse. on wednesday, actually jed, john oliver explains the control phone scandal involving "news of the world." check it out. >> future prime minister or anybody -- >> prime minister, is that what you're talking about? dame cameron, covering the prime minister.
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leader of new england. a funny story about him, jon. the former editor of the "news of the world" andy, the one who presided at the paper at the height of some of the most egregious scandals, and was hired by no other than. >> no, no. >> wait for it. >> you're going to love it. >> hired by david cameron. >> yes, [ bleep ] -- [ bleep ]! >> oh, my god! >> do you feel any better about america yet? >> i -- you know what's weird? >> what's that? >> i actually do. >> that's good. >> i feel kind of good now. >> and that means that my work here is done. >> thomas jefferson once said if he had to choose between a government without newspapers or newspapers without government he'd choose the latter. despite the horror show going on in britain i'm still with mr. jefferson. a reporter gets too close to the story. the arizona republic's richard lieuellis
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went to state senator lori klein's office about gun she's a big second amendment advocate. at that point she pulled out a pink loaded pistol and pointed the weapon's laser at his chest. he said she told him not to worry, since she didn't have her hand on the trigger. after the story was published kline said she didn't point the gun at him and he himself sat down in front of it. whatever happened, can we all agree loaded guns shouldn't be part of the interview process? now, moving to hollywood, arnold schwarzenegger gets back in the saddle. the former governor of california just signed on to his first postscandal project. a western action film, a sci-fi film "the last stand." shooting on the movie is scheduled to start in september. i wish him luck. actually i really did like "true lies." up next, the rupert murdoch scanned all keach getting bigger. former british prime minister says murdoch's people used noncriminals to access health and banking records and tried to bring down his government.
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hello. i'm milissa rehberger. president obama presented the medal of honor to army sergeant leroy petrie. he lost his hand while throwing away an enemy grenade in afghanistan, saving two other rangers. mississippi's attorney general is suing the administrator of the spoil fund, accusing him of denying claims. cindy anthony will not face perjury charges. meanwhile, a professional team in texas is suing casey anthony for more than $100,000 for the money it spent.
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and scherrwood schwartz died in hollywood today. welcome back to "hardball." with the "news of the world," the scandal went to the top today. rupert murdoch, his son james and top editor rebekah brooks all summoned to appear next week before a british parliamentary committee. last night former prime minister gordon brown announced "news of the world" hacked his records. he also described his reaction to the 2006 "sun" newspaper report that revealed his son had had cystic fibrosis. >> in tears. your son is now going to be broadcast across the media
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sarah and i were incredibly upset about it. we were thinking about his long-term future. we're thinking about our family. joining us now is cnbc's simon hobbs and "vanity fair" contributor michael wolfe, who wrote the cover story. simon, give us an update. what have been the evil infractions by the murdoch empire? >> the revelations go on and on. the one that caught people's attention, which it was revealed they'd actually hacked into a 13-year-old girl who had gone missing and in fact was murdered. it's alleged they actually went through and deleted some of the messages on her phone in order that more could be received. that they could then potentially report on in the press. >> the revulsion in the uk is at full tilt and the big news overnight, the big news tonight is now the government is going to side with the opposition to actually hurt
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murdoch where it really hurts in his business interests. they are going to have a session at parliament tomorrow to attempt to suggest he should withdraw from the $14 billion bid for the 61% he doesn't own in britain's main pay tv, distributor bskyb. so that's the breaking news we have at the moment. >> michael, is this stalingrad for murdoch? like the beginning of the moment, that moment where something happens and you stop growing. you're thrown back on your imperial purposes and you never quite expand again? in fact, you begin to contract? is this that important? what's going on here? >> chris, that's well said. yes, this is implosion at the highest level. i frankly and i think -- i think this is certainly the growing analysis in the uk is that there's no way that this company and the murdoch family can continue to run their business
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in the united kingdom. that they have in a very short period of time, although i should point out that this scandal has been been going on for five year, but in the last week they basically have come to a moment where they have lost their credibility. almost the entirety of it. >> are they in or out when it comes to the establishment? >> well, they are -- they are out, but what they've done is they've replaced the establishment. i mean, rupert murdoch is certainly the most -- the most powerful private citizen in the uk. he has been -- and actually i think throughout the u.s., the uk and australia you can say about rupert murdoch he has held power far longer than anyone in our time. that includes all politicians and all businessmen. this is, rupert mogul, yes, that's what i meant to say. >> good word. >> rupert murdoch is the mogul
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of our era. >> in this country we know him as the owner of fox and also the "wall street journal." he's certainly powerful. offers himself up as a counterbalance to what he sees as the liberal establishment in this country, the non-conservative establishment. he's the balancing act, if will you. is that what he is worldwide? is that who rupert murdoch is? >> in the uk, he was the king maker. there's a very famous headline that demonstrated it. 19 years after the 1992 election, conservatives brought back into power, many didn't think that would happen, he demonstrated the power he felt he had with a headline in his daily newspaper, "the sun," saying basically they were the ones who won it. it was through that paper that they persuaded the british people to elect -- and since then particularly the politicians on the left despised rupert murdoch. partly because he broke the labor unions with the printing arena, and because of the power
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he had. despite the fact they despised him still had to get in bed with him politically in order to win election through the power of what he was doing. tony blair, famously, when a lot of things were happening, a lot of things to distract him he actually flew to australia to stand there with rupert murdoch's other editors in order to present himself, if you like, as a sacrificial lamb to whatever they were discussing at the time in order that they would document the next general election, and the left wing is really putting the boot in now because they've finally got a chance. >> michael, talk about hypocrisy. gordon brown hitting him when he's down? >> i'm seeing -- geez, he -- murdoch hit gordon brown pretty hard. actually, but the very curious thing here is that murdoch likes gordon brown. he likes him. actually much better than david cameron. so it was his -- his son and rebekah brooks that convinced him him he ought to come around and support david cameron, but
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gordon brown is rupert murdoch's friend. >> why was he bugging him? would you was he hacking into his bank accounts and his phone and all that stuff? >> because rupert murdoch, i would daresay, was not doing it, but done by his reporters and it was done by rebekah brooks, actually, the woman who he is now defending. >> wouldn't you think if he had all that clout, he'd tell them, hands off my friend? >> well, let me explain something about rupert murdoch's empire. this is a family business. and in a way this is the crux of this story. his son james has been running the management of this, has been running the british side of the company, has been -- has been managing this scandal for the last number of years. rupert is, let's remember, 80 years old. his family has taken more and more power, and -- you know, i
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think what we see now is that they well may not have been up to the -- up to the task. >> may i disagree? michael may have inside information who is friends with whom, but in in public, no way in which murdoch or his paper was supporting brown. brown appears to be a very angry man. a man kicked out of power when the most unpopular politicians in the united kingdom. for him to sit here with his drawn face to discuss what happened when he was in power, although he was hurt, he was in power. he was the prime minister. why didn't he sort it out, curb the power? >> but that's a remote question. that's not the issue. this is, his -- his phone was hacked, his medical records were also hacked. and you have to remember this, these -- the murdoch people, the murdoch reporters, the "news of the world" reporters, were capable capable of holding anyone in the country -- >> they knew for years it was
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going on. it just so happened that it was for ordinary people in the street and they didn't really care. they must have known how people got the information. how did they get exclusive the day by day by day? people knew that, believe me, they knew that was going on. >> absolutely, but look what happened. rupert murdoch had the newspapers. it didn't matter that you knew. how they got it. rupert murdoch had a weapon and the weapon was these newspapers. you could say what you want, they would still print. >> looking at the power of rupert murdoch across the atlantic. talk about this power here. when we come back with simon hobbs and michael wolff, right back on "hardball."
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he has for fox? the guy is going to shed people. he's going to shed the ceo of dow jones, owner of the journal. but, of course, he was in charge of some of those uk businesses. there is speculation he might get rid of some of those operations in the uk as well, the newspapers, but it's the fcc licenses, chris, can they make it stick over here? is he a fit and proper person is the question here in the united states, given what has happened in the uk. >> michael, for your readership and our viewership, what's the impact here? >> the impact is huge. i don't think end of day people named murdoch can run this company. i actually disagree it will be a licensing issue, it will be a governance issue. it's a public company, but the people who run it are nevertheless not accountable, and that's what we've seen here. >> will they push him out?
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>> excuse me, say that again? >> will the saudis and people on the board with big shares push him out? >> i think, yes. i think that's what's going to happen is the larger shareholders, the saudis, notably will begin to question -- >> okay, okay. >> question whether the murdochs should be running this company. >> thank you, good question. you're both great. when we return, let me finish with my thoughts about betty ford. comes centrum.
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let me finish tonight with the first lady brave enough to be betty ford. the phrase itself, betty ford is an admission we need such a place. many of us, she's at betty ford, he's checked into betty ford. it's a haven for people with reality biting at their heels. people with addictions, until one bad day they decide i need help, i need to go to betty ford. before she was a place of haven and help, betty ford was a real, live person with problems of her own. her husband, her family had done an intervention and told her she needed to do something about her drinking and prescription drugs or she'd destroy the honesty and goodness in her. drinking has got the better of a
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lot of good people, very good people. betty ford now is a code phrase for the fact there comes a time, and there is a place, when and where you can deal with such problems. i knew president ford a bit. he was always open to doing an interview with me because he was friends with my old boss, tip o'neal, real friends, the kind they had in congress in the old days, across the aisle friends. he was a good guy and i'd like to think a good husband. betty had to be something. her openness about homosexuality, about abortion, cancer, and even her own martial relations with jerry. they were republicans, of course, her and her husband. not tea partiers, they believed in government, what government could do for this country. they did what they could for america, in her case that meant for individual americans with real lives to lead, sometimes with real challenges. she gave them hope. her name, betty


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